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Here's how the rising stars of VC keep their wellness on track while hunting down deals

Samantha Stokes,Madeline Renbarger,Ben Bergman,Darius Rafieyan,Melia Russell,Leena Rao,Vishal Persaud   

Here's how the rising stars of VC keep their wellness on track while hunting down deals
  • VC's new generation is embracing wellness as a counterbalance to the fast-paced life of investing.
  • We asked readers and top VCs from around the US to name the best up-and-coming investors of 2023.

Silicon Valley's up-and-comers say that their wellness hacks are essential to staying on their A-Game in the fast-paced world of venture-capital investing.

The average consumer today is more focused than ever on their health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep, and mindfulness. And these rising stars of the VC world are at the forefront of the trend, with many adopting various wellness routines.

Business Insider asked this year's rising stars to name their best wellness hack that keeps them at the top of their game. Some VCs keep it simple with a daily exercise routine including walking, cycling, and martial arts. Others swear by waking up early, journaling, and cutting back on caffeine.

As Base10's Luci Foncesa put it: "Health and wellness are incredibly important to me. One of my non-negotiables is daily movement, which, combined with my meditation practice, ensures I show up my most energetic, present, and aware self."

Find ways to get moving

Many rising stars in VC have a relationship with exercise that goes beyond an obligatory hour at the gym or a forced jog around the block. They see it as a daily practice that helps them stay physically fit as well as an enjoyable hobby that improves their mental health.

"In the past year, cycling has become more than just a hobby; it's a source of peace and balance in my life," Justin Williams, a senior associate at Seae Ventures, told Business Insider. "There's something profoundly calming about embarking on a long ride after a day's work."

Other VCs say they're embracing exercise that ranges from martial arts to power walking to hot yoga to bouldering.

Fiona Huang, a partner at DCM Ventures, told Business Insider that she's recently incorporated Megaformer workouts into her routine, which use a souped-up Pilates reformer machine to add increased strength training benefits.

"It's an incredibly efficient training method that challenges the body and aligns with my wellness goals," she said.

Like Huang, other VCs say efficiency is the name of the game when it comes to picking an effective exercise routine. Many told Business Insider that they combine movement with their work, like QED Investors partner Laura Bock, who bikes to work and meetings around New York, and Founder Collective partner Amanda Herson, who makes it a point to invite founders on walking business meetings.

Taylor Brandt, a vice president at Headline, said that she recently started walking on an inclined treadmill while watching meeting recordings on call transcription software Avoma, which Headline invested in.

"I can get up to speed on prospective investments while working out – win-win!" she said.

Finding "Om" time

Many venture capitalists on this year's list of rising stars recommended meditation as a way to take a break from everyday life and help them stay focused on what's important.

"This year, I decided to bump up my typical 10 minutes of daily meditation to closer to 30-40 minutes daily," Luci Fonseca, a partner at Base10 Investors, told Business Insider. "It's been a game changer in my ability to focus, control my thoughts and emotions, modulate my responses in stressful situations, and show up for others the rest of the day."

Vivien Ho, a partner at Pear VC, is heading to a Vipassana retreat over the New Year's holiday, where she'll spend 10 days in silent meditation.

And Ashley Paston, a partner at Meritech Capital, sings the praises of meditation along with journaling.

"It's amazing how taking just 10 minutes out of my day helps set the pace and structure for the rest of the day so well," she told Business Insider.

Keep it simple: sleeping well and eating healthy

For some rising stars in venture capital, basic routines centering on good sleep habits and healthy eating help them stay at the top of their game, like Ahmed Mirza, a Techstars investor who's "obsessed" with his 10 p.m. bedtime and 5 a.m. alarm.

Amber Atherton, a partner at Patron, is also a fan of the 10 p.m. bedtime, noting that when she stays up later, it's exponentially more difficult to feel rested.

Sunset Ventures' Brandon Hoffman takes things a step further with a caffeine protocol that supports his morning routine and helps him ensure he's drinking enough water throughout the day.

"I wake up early and make my first cup of coffee decaf to delay my caffeine intake until about 2 hours after waking up without having to give up the warm drink soon after getting out of bed," he told Business Insider. "Also, I have a large empty cup next to the coffee maker. Anytime that I make a cup of coffee (a few each day), I make sure that I fill that large cup up to the top with water and drink it as a way to allow myself another cup of coffee. This has been my hack to increase my water intake, especially to balance out a diuretic such as coffee."

For other investors, supplements are non-negotiables, including Felicis deal partner Tobi Coker, who takes a shot of apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning, and Wellington Management's Javier Grevely, who swears by his probiotic and green juice, which contain superfoods like kale and wheatgrass.

For Natalie Borowski, an investor at Coefficient Captial whose parents are Eastern European immigrants, gut health is of utmost importance, and she grew up with lots of pickled and fermented foods.

"I've recently been trying to get back to the level of nutrition diversity that I had in my childhood diet." she told Business Insider. "In my Brooklyn apartment, I've been making lots of pickled vegetables, kefir (fermented yogurt drink), and kombucha (this one has not always been successful) based on my mom's and grandma's recipes."


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